The Middle East is proving to be an increasingly attractive place for British building services engineering and construction companies, according to Rob Davies of Adexsi UK:
A series of major infrastructure projects involving truly innovative building services engineering shows that, from a business perspective, things are picking up right across the region. And European specialists, in particular, have a big opportunity thanks to our adoption of mandatory CE marking.
It has been compulsory in the EU since July 2013 for many products used in building services systems to carry a CE Mark. This means that any system not properly tested and accredited can be condemned by a building inspector and could also lead to a prosecution led by Trading Standards. Now, many Middle Eastern specifiers want the same level of quality control and see our regulatory regime as the best way of gaining the level of quality assurance they require.
A wide range of building service products are subject to CE marking including, heat and smoke extraction fans; fire and smoke dampers; fire rated ductwork systems, flues, chimneys and fittings; radiators and heat emitters to name just a few.
Compliance is challenging as third party testing and reports, certification, factory testing and audit trails are all needed, but at Adexsi we think the investment is really paying off – and well beyond the borders of the EU.
We are in the fortunate position that our complete range of smoke and fire ventilation products has been CE compliant for many years – one of the benefits of being part of a major European manufacturing group. Adexsi UK has now been given responsibility for the Middle East export business and we have already scored a number of memorable successes that exemplify the opportunities in that part of the world.
For example, we are in the process of designing and supplying an ATEX rated natural and smoke ventilation system for the mammoth Jeddah South Thermal Power Plant in Saudi Arabia.
The plant, featuring four 660MW steam turbines, will deliver almost 5% of the country’s entire power requirements when it is completed in 2017. As well as being CE marked, the Certilight units and controls we developed are ATEX rated, employing pneumatic vents and explosion/flame proof controls – they are specially rated for use in hazardous and explosive environments.
The Sultanate of Oman is also on the move, and is upgrading its airports to cope with increasing demand from business and leisure travellers. At the main Muscat airport, expansion is well under way with a new terminal and an extended runway in construction to make it capable of handling 12 million passengers a year.
Adexsi was asked to provide smoke and natural ventilators for the new terminal’s piers for which we designed and supplied 33 acoustic Certilight Phonique twin flap extract terminals. They are called phonique because they have high acoustic attenuation capability – ideal for a noisy airport.
These are just two examples of the major infrastructure projects underway across the Middle East – and the kind of innovative design thinking needed to meet their goals.
It is a complex region that offers huge opportunities in booming construction markets. Specifiers are very open to new design ideas including the use of energy saving natural ventilation. It is a great time to be doing building engineering business in the Middle East.